Courtesy of Relativity Media

25th Annual New Orleans Film Festival

05:00 September 22, 2014
By: David Vicari

October 16 - 23

The New Orleans Film Society (NOFS) proudly presents the 25th Annual New Orleans Film Festival, which takes place from October 16th to October 23rd at venues across the city. The festival will kick things off Thursday, October 16th, at the Civic Theatre with the Opening Night film, the New Orleans-shot Black and White directed by Mike Binder (Indian Summer, The Upside of Anger) and starring Academy Award–winners Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer. This will be the U.S. premiere of the movie. Black and White is a drama about a widowed grandfather (Costner) who is left to raise his bi-racial granddaughter. When the little girl’s paternal grandmother (Spencer) seeks custody, a bitter legal battle ensues that forces this fractured family to confront thoughts of life, death, anger, and America’s racial divide.
The film also stars New Orleans native Anthony Mackie, as well as Jennifer Ehle, Gillian Jacobs, Bill Burr, Andre Holland, and introduces Jillian Estell. The film's score is by New Orleanian and noted composer Terence Blanchard (Inside Man, She Hate Me).
Costner says of shooting the movie in Louisiana: “New Orleans as well as the state of Louisiana has come to my rescue more than once as a filmmaker. It was the difference between me making my movie and not. The group of filmmakers that exists here made it possible, and nothing feels better than bringing it back for them to see the vision that united us all in work.” 

Closing the festival on Thursday, October 23rd, is the world premiere of The Big Beat, a documentary directed by Joe Lauro (Rejoice and Shout, Louis Prima: The Wildest, The Howling Wolf Story) that profiles the early years of Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew. Specifically, this documentary follows their journey of transforming New Orleans rhythm & blues into rock 'n' roll, and shows how their music contributed to racial integration. Through archival footage and recent interviews with Dave, Fats, and surviving band members, the film illustrates the story of these two men and the other musicians who made their band among the greatest in rock 'n' roll history. “I see The Big Beat as not only the story of Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew, but a tale of New Orleans, the city where Dave and Fats have always lived and where their music was born,” says Lauro.

All-Access Passes will go on sale on September 1st ($200 for NOFS members / $250 general admission) and grant pass holders the opportunity to reserve seats for all screenings and VIP access to all parties and special events during NOFF. All-Access Passes do not guarantee admission to the Opening Night film. A limited quantity of Opening Night tickets is available only to All-Access Pass holders on a first-come first-served basis, beginning at noon CST on September 25th.  Tickets and passes will be available to purchase at neworleansfilmfestival.org.

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